What's the Worst Homeowner Job? How About Cleaning Gutters?


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Of all the outside chores I dislike the most, cleaning the gutters has got to be the worst. However, the alternative is probably worse. Imagine poor Aunt Edna coming for a visit and the backed up gutter over your front door dosing her completely from head to toe.

There is never an easy way to keep from getting covered in dirt, leaves and goo. Lets not forget the fear of heights for some of us and oh there is also the fear of the sudden stop should you fall from your lofty perch.

It is because of the possibility of injury and even the possibility of death, that I recommend hiring a professional to clean your gutters. Ok having given you the disclaimer. Here are some things you can do to get your gutters clean. You could start by getting a ladder and after your sure that the ladder is set up safely, that means that you should have a ladder that allows you to stand on the second rung from the top, and still see in to the gutter, and you have somebody to spot your ladder. Yes this not work I suggest doing solo. Then and only then should you climb up the ladder and look into the gutter to see just how much cleaning you need to do.

It could be as simple as running a hose in to the gutter and flushing a minor amount of junk down the down spout. Or as bad as a gutter half full of leaves, dirt, and goo. The only way to clear that mess is to get a small scoop or rubber gloves, a bucket, and a hose. You will need to scoop the majority of the junk out by hand and then flush the minor stuff down the downspout.

There are several devices you can purchase to make this task easier. My favorite one is the bendable wand that you can attach to the hose, by bending the end in to a hook you can stand firmly on the ground and spray the junk out of the gutter with a powerful stream of water. The down side is that, if there is a lot of junk you will end up causing it to be expelled all over the place including possibly on your self, which you will have to clean up, off the side of the house and maybe the wifes car, another reason for checking the level of junk in the gutter by examining it from the ladder.

There are a couple of other things I would suggest doing. First, during the dry season clean the gutters out and get some rubberized paint for metal roofing and paint the inside bottom and up both sides of the gutter. This application will help protect the metal your gutters are made of and help them to last longer. Two, there is a screen material that can be purchased to cover the gutter to keep leaves and larger junk from getting in and plugging up your gutters. This will absolutely cut down the amount of time you spend cleaning the gutters to almost zero. The screens come in different sizes with small and large holes. I can tell you from experience to choose wisely. If your holes are to small and your roof pitch is too high the water will run right over and onto what ever is below. Sorta defeats the purpose of gutters right.

You can find this tip and others as well as service people who want to help you with your repairs and maintenance at: http://www.homemaintenanceworld.com


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